Equifax App Assists American Car Buyers (or Anyone With a Credit Score)

One of America’s three major credit scorekeepers is ready to unveil a new app for Android users that will get customers access to their up to date credit scores and other credit information, which just might be what you need when you’re heading to the dealer’s lot to get new car financing or pre-owned car loan deals.

The major credit bureau Equifax is one of three credit reporting agencies that determines a consumer’s overall credit score or credit rating. Now, those carrying the Android smart phone can get this data quickly, to help out with all sorts of lending situations, including new car financing in 2011.

Why do you need to do credit score research before buying a car? If you ask auto sales experts, it’s because of the way that today’s car financing deals get done. Often, prospective car buyers simply show up at the dealer’s lot, hoping for an equitable negotiation based on sticker price. But, according to consumer advocates, that’s frequently not what they get. Many 2011 car buyers do understand that the cards are stacked against them: the dealer has access to information about the total cost of the vehicle wholesale, plus many items that can potentially raise the final transaction price, regardless of MSRP, like shipping, storage, and more. Then, when the new car buyer relies on the dealer for easy finance handling, that local lot can mark up the vehicle even more using what’s called “dealer reserve.” This simple kind of financial sleight of hand tacks on additional interest fees or charges that go directly into the dealer’s pocket.

But that’s not the only kind of markup that goes into a new car financing agreement. Dealers can also raise interest rates based on the customer’s credit score, often by deeming a car financing plan a “bad credit car loan” and assessing even higher interest for trumped-up risk. It’s often up to the buyer to call a shop on its math, and without the kinds of information that the new Equifax smartphone provides, this can be difficult and inconvenient.

 That’s what makes it so critical to know your credit score numbers and how to use them when you show up to haggle over a new or used car for eventual car financing.

To this end, Equifax’s new resource can allow customers access to their Equifax credit score, a major component of their overall FICO credit score, with other extra features like the ability to hone in on an average credit score by locale. This can help even more in busting up a false “bad credit car loan designation” and dialing interest rates back to affordable levels. So if you are carrying the Android or another applicable smartphone, take a look at what you can get for adding to your arsenal, so you’re loaded up with consumer protection the next time you head out looking for a car financing deal.